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The Joys of Potty Training a Toddler

9 comments | June 17th, 2012

(story by Renea Dijab, from ThinkandPonder.com)

After successfully weaning a full-grown, walking, talking child with TEETH, it was time to move on to potty-training.  She very nearly attended her 4th birthday party in a diaper.  We do not do things quickly at my house.

If you read:  “Breastfeeding… FOREVER”, then you know I am committed to doing whatever it takes to move my baby girl happily through childhood, despite my own pain and suffering, but after nearly FOUR YEARS, I was getting really tired of changing diapers twenty times a day.

First of all, she was costing us several hundred a year in Pampers and I looked forward to the day that I got to pass on my coupons at a playdate the way other moms did.

And when they are that big, they don’t fit on baby changing tables and you can’t change them in your lap, hence the fine art of changing a poopy child standing up, which is a particular problem when you are in Europe and the restaurant’s bathroom is down a dark alley in a cupboard the size of a linen closet or God Forbid, an airplane.  And yes, I have changed diapers in all these places.  The wet ones of course, are no big deal, but sometimes with the poop ones, you just wish you had a garden hose.

And during this time, we lived in upstate New York.  They have some of the highest property taxes in the nation.  Like if you live in the south, and you knew, you would be like “naw… that shit can’t be legal”, but oh, it can, my friend.  It can.

And the city school systems suck just like everywhere else.  You think for five grand a year on a VERY modest home, you would at least get a decent school system – and also – TRASH PICKED UP AT CITY PARKS.

The first time I took my daughter to a park and could not find a place to discard our trash, I was puzzled.  I asked around and discovered that all the parks had a carry in/ carry out policy.  There were NO TRASH CANS.  I am talking playgrounds with picnic tables, not hiking trails.

It is one thing to be expected to haul away, say; you own picnic trash, but no place to leave your McDonald’s bag?  And, heaven forbid, a diaper full of shit?  Of course, you could just leave it on the ground or a picnic table – and occasionally people did – but since people who do that deserve the death penalty and I choose life, I dutifully folded up the nasty diaper and took it away to the nearest trash can.  I am sure Dunkin’ Donuts appreciates the park policy with a dumpster full of dirty diapers.

I once saw a cloth-diaper momma fold up a wad of cotton full of shit and stuff it in her diaper bag to take home to WASH.  I admire her commitment to our planet but there is no way in hell I could do that.

So, as with weaning, she was offered ELABORATE rewards.  We had a sticker chart.  We got candy.  We got small toys for "trying".  We even had a mystery prize bag for a while, where the thrill of getting to choose something sight unseen was a motivator.  And when she finally went all panties – all the time, she would get a DOLL HOUSE.

And she just didn’t want to.  My child was smart and articulate.  She would just tell you.  “No, I want a diaper.”  I can’t imagine how shitting in your pants at that age was pleasant – when you were so AWARE – but despite my rewards and cajoling and peer pressure “Every child in your playgroup goes on the potty!”… she didn’t do it until she was ready.  And when she did, we were done.  Potty training was instantaneous.  There were no accidents.  And thank God, it was three months before her 4th birthday.

Now, if we could just get her to sleep in her own room…{end story}

 

9 comments

  • KSE

    Posted on June 18, 2012

    My kids are 4 and 5 and if I never again hear “mom, I’m done”, their signal for me to come wipe them up, that will be just fine.

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    • Renea Dijab

      Posted on June 22, 2012

      My daughter is 7 and I am still on butt wiping duty about 50% of the time. I figure I will be in a nursing home and having my own butt wiped before it is over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted on June 18, 2012

    A lot of kids consider their poop and pee to be the first creations for which they can identify cause and effect. They literally make it, and there can be odd, Freudian attachments to it. It may just be “shit” to us, to them it’s something they made.

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  • LGN

    Posted on June 18, 2012

    I’m all for environmental responsibility and going green. Cloth diapers are an easy line to draw. NO WAY.

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  • Momof2

    Posted on June 19, 2012

    Our daughter took FOREVER to poop in the potty. Made me crazy! She did not care one bit about rewards. It was all about control. And when she decided to do it, just like your daughter, it took a day. The best advice I was given was, “Stop talking about it. Pretend you don’t care. It will happen.” That helped. Our son was potty trained before he was 3. It took 3 days and a box of Tic Tacs. Everyone is different.

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  • Renea Dijab

    Posted on June 22, 2012

    Boy, I would have saved a lot of money if Tic Tacs had worked for us. I agree, NOW… after the fact… for ALL childhood milestones, it would be nice if we Moms, could learn not to sweat it!

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